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Interior Flash Portrait Comparison

Below you'll find the final set of our 'real world' comparison shots taken with each of the cameras in the group. One of the most common uses for compact cameras is for social 'snaps' of friends and family, and in anything but the brightest light this means using flash. This test allowed us to not only check each camera's flash performance, but also to find out how well they cope with focusing and face detection in more challenging conditions (like a dimly lit bar).

In these shots we're looking first and foremost for accurate focus and exposure and pleasing color balance. We're also looking at how well the red-eye reduction works (some cameras use a simple 'preflash' system, others actually find and remove red-eye once the picture has been taken, and some even do both). Red-eye reduction is useful but less critical than overall color/focus/exposure as it is easy to remove in post processing (indeed many printing labs do it for you automatically).

A note on focussing - all of these cameras struggled to achieve accurate focus in this exceptionally dark environment. Although some (the Canon SX230HS, Panasonic ZS10 and Samsung WB210) could detect our subjects' faces, none could reliably focus on them without the help of their built-in AF lights.

  • All taken from the same position at very similar zoom settings (subject distance approx. 5 feet)
  • Auto or Intelligent Auto mode
  • Face detection AF activated (where available)

By default, the main image here is from the Canon SX230HS. To see our comments on the image quality from the other cameras in this group, you can select them from the dropdown at the top of the comparison tool. Depending on the size of your computer monitor, you might get a better experience by selecting 'full screen mode'.

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